I am extremely proud of my students, Torey Hart, Sarah McMichen, and Anjali Sivaainkaran, who are accepted to Harlaxton International Music Festival in UK (June 28-July 5) and named recipients of TTU's URECA grant ($2,500 each). They will travel to UK this summer to study with my colleagues from the Larchmere String Quartet and other international faculty members and perform some great chamber music. I will travel to Harlaxton as well during my London residency that week to work with the students at the festival. We spent many hours preparing the application materials for the festival and grants, and I am thrilled that all three will be able to make this work in the end!
I encouraged some of my students to enter the Annual Student Research Day Competition at Tennessee Tech earlier this year. I try to remind all music students about the importance of exploring untapped opportunities and unconventional channel to showcase our works. This event has been traditionally a playground for science and engineering students, and no music majors have entered in the past as far as I know.
Fortunately, a duo of my students decided to take up on the idea, and came up with a topic: "Relating Humidity to Reed Cane Thickness and Sound Quality." For a period of few weeks, they preserved reeds on various controlled humidity level in my studio and tested them with various measurements and playing response. To me, it was a unique way to approach this important aspect of clarinet playing and present it in a clear and objective manner. Their final poster was put up again over 100 highly competitive entrants, and I am proud to report that they were selected as the undergraduate winners of the College of Education Prize. As a participating judge (although I did not judge my own students' work), I could attest the outstanding quality of the work by my students.